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Quantification of Ehrlichia ruminantium by real time PCR

Peixoto C.C., Marcelino I., Vachiery N., Bensaïd A., Martinez D., Carrondo M.J.T., Alves P.M.. 2005. Veterinary Microbiology, 107 (3-4) : p. 273-278.

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2005.02.001

Ehrlichia ruminantium (ER) is the causative agent of Heartwater, one of the most common tick-borne diseases affecting ruminants in African countries and West Indies. Although ER can be used as an inactivated vaccine for wild and domestic animals, there are currently no easy and reliable methods for the quantification of this obligate intracellular bacterium. This report describes the development of a SYBR Green I based real time PCR protocol for the quantification of ER for vaccine production purposes. The method was validated for four ER strains. The external-standard-based PCR protocol developed has a large dynamic quantitative range allowing accurate ER measurement in samples containing from 102 to 108 gene copies; the method is also reproducible and precise, with infra- and inter-assay coefficients below 5%. The detection limits were validated for samples collected from bovine aortic endothelial cell culture bulks, which are commonly used to produce the ER vaccine. In contrast to the methods based upon protein content, no interference from the host cells in ER quantification was observed. Furthermore, the extended applicability of the new technique was demonstrated by monitoring ER production in cell culture thus rendering it a valuable tool to ensure consistency between vaccine lots and to evaluate optimal vaccine dosage. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Mots-clés : ehrlichia; pcr; vaccin; test biologique; dose

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